Of all the changes COVID-19 brought into our lives, the most noteworthy for office-goers may be the requirement to work from home. Love it or hate it, many of us can agree on one silver lining: the end of office Christmas parties—a departure that’s celebrated by Miller Lite’s latest holiday campaign.
The “Farewell Work Holiday Parties” campaign, created by DDB’s Chicago and San Francisco offices, is a comedic eulogy for all of the most awkward parts of those get-togethers: posing for photos with your boss, having a bit too much to drink, falling asleep at your desk—all scored by an overly enthusiastic DJ.
Set to a slow-moving version of Andy Williams’ “Happy Holidays,” the bulk of the ad is staged as a three-dimensional still life of the party’s cringiest moments. Appropriately for COVID times, the revelers in the ad aren't actually human—they're hyper-realistic statues created by artist Alex Prager, who's known for her cinematic compositions that somehow suggest the sinister or extraordinary in real-life scenarios.
“Not having to make awkward small talk or being forced to take photobooth pictures with coworkers is a holiday gift in and of itself,” says Courtney Carter Dugan, director of activation for Miller Lite. The spot signs off by reminding viewers that less time spent in the office means more time to enjoy Miller Lite.
Credit for all photos: Alex Prager, © Alex Prager, photo courtesy Alex Prager Studio and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London
In addition to the video ad, “Farewell Work Holiday Parties” is also supported by an outdoor installation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, comprising 15 of the sculptures Prager created for the campaign.
“Miller Lite and DDB trusted me to make 15 life sculptures with complete creative autonomy. It's one of those dream collaborations that comes along once every five years or so,” says Prager, whose works will be on display at the LACMA through the beginning of 2021.
For those who have had their office holiday parties canceled and want to enjoy their “Miller Time,” the brand is giving away free six-packs via Twitter.
The campaign, which debuts today, will be supported across multiple channels including national TV, social and digital, and will round out Miller Lite’s wintertime marketing strategy that also includes a new lineup of “ugly” holiday knitwear and updated holiday packaging.